Amyloid plaques are strongly related to Alzheimer’s disease. The formation of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques contribute to the degradation of nerve cells in the brain. One of the major symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of amyloid plaques that are found between the nerve cells (neuron) in the brain. Amyloid is actually a term used for protein fragments that are naturally produced by a human body. However, Beta-amyloid is a snipped version of the precursor of amyloid protein. The human brain in its normal situation breaks down and eliminates these protein fragments to prevent the downfall of executing a task. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, the same fragments accumulate and form hard which further become insoluble plaques.
On the contrary, neurofibrillary tangles are actually insoluble fibers which are found in a twisted state inside a brain cell. They consist of a protein called tau. This together forms a structure called microtubule. The microtubule typically helps to transport the nutrients and other vital components from one part to another inside a nerve cell. However, in the respect of Alzheimer’s disease the tau protein becomes abnormal and thus, the structure of microtubule collapses.
How Do Amyloid Plaques Form?
Amyloid plaques are formed naturally by soluble proteins. They together form insoluble fibers to resist degradation. Therefore, the formation can lead to severe disease which is characterized by specific proteins. Some of the common examples of the amyloid disease include Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes type 2 and spongiform encephalopathies. The plaques get deposited outside the nerve cells inside the tissues and thus create a pathogenic effect. The deposition becomes stable permanently and as per a recent study, it is composed of the Beta structure.
Amyloid precursor protein (APP) can be processed in various ways with the help of different enzymes. There are basically two sets of formation, amyloidogenic and the other is non-amyloidogenic. Most of the APP enters in the non-amyloidogenic pathway. However, things can change in terms of mutations, environmental factors, and age of a particular person.
Non-plaque Forming Pathway
This is a pathway where the Amyloid precursor protein is cleaved by an alpha-secretase to produce soluble N and C-terminal fragment. It helps in the enhancement of synaptogenesis, neuronal survival, neurite outgrowth and thus, it is considered to be a protective layer for neurons. The C-terminal is retained in the membrane where the presenilin Gamma-secretase acts upon to produce N-terminal fragment.
Plaque Forming Pathway
The APP in the plaque forming pathway is cleaved by a number of enzymes, Beta-secretase to produce a soluble N-terminal fragment. The cut is made very near to N-terminal to make the process longer than C-terminal. Therefore, the amyloid precursor protein fragments accumulate in stages to become microscopic plaques. The plaques are generally formed from a number of polymerization mechanisms. There are certain peptides that aggregate into oligomers and together form a cluster to give the structure of fibrils. These fibrils bonds together to form mats and clumps other substances. This process helps in the formation of plaques in the final stage. The plaque formation may disrupt the cells in the brain by clogging the vital points of communication and activating the immunity cells. These trigger inflammation and thus, the situation can be dangerous to cells. Moreover, plaque formation can also lead to oxidative damage to the cells.
How is Amyloid Plaques Removed?
Alzheimer’s Amyloid plaque can be removed with the help of Vitamin D and Omega3. Together, they boost the immunity to increase the fighting ability of a person especially when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D is very essential for the growth of bone and improving immune system. Most of the deficiencies can be seen in the winter months or those who prefer staying indoor with Alzheimer’s disease.
On the contrary, Omega 3 fatty acids are a vital component for healthy metabolism. They are mostly found in plant and marine oils. Moreover, Omega 3 can significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body.
As per the literature available in this realm, there are certain mechanisms that are regulated by Omega 3 to clear out amyloid plaque. In general cases, abnormal proteins can be found in the plaques that are often sticky and thus, they clog the communication system in the brain. By undertaking the right course of action and taking proper medical assistance this problem can be tackled easily.
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- “Holoprosencephaly.” Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD). https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6837/holoprosencephaly
- “Holoprosencephaly: Overview and More.” Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21429-holoprosencephaly
- “Holoprosencephaly: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Management.” Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678009/
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